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You’re about to have a baby. There’s ample advice from friends, advertisers, your mum and even the lady you met in the supermarket aisle. But how do you really know what is absolutely necessary when there always seems so much, well, stuff to buy. How do you ensure your child is comfortable and safe, but without breaking the bank buying items you’ll never really use?

Independent consumer group CHOICE has put together a “what to look for” guide to help you with your buying decisions. They rigorously test hundreds of baby and children’s products to ensure they meet important safety standards, as well as taking into account other key features and in some cases ease of use. Use their free and expert information to help yourself make an informed buying decision that will be right for you and your baby.

Products include:

  • Cots
  • Baby carriers/slings
  • Portable cots
  • Bunk beds
  • Strollers
  • High chairs
  • Change tables
  • Bouncers
  • Babywalkers
  • Baby monitors

Baby monitors

Baby monitors are a modern day nursery accessory many parents rely on for peace of mind. They really come into their own if you’ve a two-story house, or baby’s room is some way from the kitchen or living areas of your home. A monitor can also be useful if you’re visiting with baby and want to put them down to sleep in an unfamiliar environment. CHOICE tells you what is important to consider when comparing different models:

On the baby unit:

  • Mains operation, and battery operation if you want to use it in areas without mains power (say, out camping).
  • A night light, if you intend to use one anyway.

On the parent unit:

  • Mains and battery operation, so you can take the unit with you in and around the house.
  • A belt clip.
  • Volume control.
  • A light display to indicate the sound level, if you want to see the noise your child makes rather than hear it – while you’re watching TV or vacuuming, for example, or if you have (or your babysitter has) problems with hearing.

On both units:

  • At least two different frequencies to choose from.
  • Power-on light.
  • Battery condition indicator.
  • Automatic battery back-up is useful in areas where power failures are common.
  • A cord long enough for your set-up.

To ensure you’re only buying the items that really count, check out the expert information in CHOICE’s free, comprehensive, expert information on nursery products . There are ten different baby product categories to review.

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